Posted: Sat 10th Feb 2024

Calls for Full Explanation of “Substantial” Pollution Incident at Powys High School

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 10th, 2024

CALLS have been made for Powys County Council to fully explain a “substantial” pollution incident at one of its high schools.
The council has revealed following questions by Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan that 800 tonnes of soil has had to be dug out and taken away from Gwernyfed High School which is in the village of Three Cocks between Brecon and Hay-on-Wye.
In May last year kerosene oil was found in the drainage system next to the sports hall at the school.
The leak could have been going on for several years and the cost of dealing with the incident is said to be £140,000.
Cllr Vaughan said: “In view of the importance of environmental matters to this authority, it is imperative that a full report on the situation is presented to councillors especially the education (Learning and Skills) scrutiny committee to ensure complete transparency and openness.
“Having to move 800 tonnes of soil implies it is substantial pollution and we not only need assurance that none went into the local watercourses but also confirmation of full costs and any other future liability.
“If the tank was removed in 2011, then the pollution must have been ongoing for a number of years and begs the question why nobody noticed years ago.”
He added that private polluters would face prosecution by Wales Government environment body Natural Resources Wales and that question needed to be answered.
A Powys County Council spokesman said “In May 2023, kerosene was found in the drainage system next to the sports hall building at Gwernyfed High School.
“The oil had emanated from a decommissioned oil tank next to the sports centre building that had been removed in 2011.
“There has been 800 tons of contaminated material removed from Gwernyfed High School to a specialist and licensed tip.
“This area has been backfilled with stone and is due to be reinstated with topsoil, a new grass surface as well as a new pedestrian access pathway.
“The overall cost of the re-mediation work is approximately £140,000.”
He added that the Welsh Government’s environment body NRW have been informed and “kept updated” with the situation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Powys Council

New windfarm planning application submitted near Glaslyn Nature Reserve

Powys Council

Fears Raised Over Potential £300 Million School Building Programme Cutbacks

Powys Council

Committee Chairman Requests Comparison of Powys Planning Performance

Powys Council

Rail Testing Facility in Powys Seeks Extension for Detailed Plans – £150 Million Scheme

Powys Council

Improvements Being Made to Planning Enforcement Investigations in Powys

Powys Council

Powys Animal Establishment Licence Fees Set to Rise Again, Council Predicts Loss

Powys Council

Latest from News.Wales

Public Consultation Launched for ‘No-Gas’ Housing Development Near Maesteg

Bridgend Council

Opponents of Proposed “Super-Estate” in Wrexham Call for Public Meeting

Wrexham Council

Disused Newport leisure centre deemed safe by council officials

Newport Council

Plans Revealed for Fourth Phase of Rhondda Fach Active Travel Route

Rhondda Council

Fear of Diluted Local Voice in Vale of Glamorgan Community Council Changes

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Smallest School in Rhondda Cynon Taf to Close Despite Strong Opposition

Rhondda Council